Travel Team

Do you think for a young pitcher to improve that he needs to play on a travel team with better compitition?

I have an 11 year old son that has been asked to play on a travel team and I can’t decide if that is a good idea or not. The coaches tell me if he wants to make the next jump he has to play with the best.

Thanks for your help.

[quote=“munster7”]Do you think for a young pitcher to improve that he needs to play on a travel team with better compitition?

I have an 11 year old son that has been asked to play on a travel team and I can’t decide if that is a good idea or not. The coaches tell me if he wants to make the next jump he has to play with the best.

Thanks for your help.[/quote]

The coaches want to win.

I avoided it when my kid was that age. Works fine for some, but I was more concerned of burnout ( not overuse, because I regulate that even on teams that I dont coach ). Buddy of mine that I played with in college called one day to say his 16 yr old son, who had gone that route since 10, told dad that he wasnt interested in playing hs ball … was burnt out on the game and had enough . Dad was crushed … as I would have been.

I absolutely disagree thats its needed to be successful at the next level, thats rediculous … a coach with an agenda ( go figure ).

[quote=“munster7”]Do you think for a young pitcher to improve that he needs to play on a travel team with better compitition?

I have an 11 year old son that has been asked to play on a travel team and I can’t decide if that is a good idea or not. The coaches tell me if he wants to make the next jump he has to play with the best.

Thanks for your help.[/quote]

It is definitely a great idea if you want him to get better. But you need to watch for a few things, such as the coaches and their desire to win. The coaches often forget they are coaching young kids, and can damage to your child’s baseball career and there are usually alot more games, so make sure your son can handle it.
I know what I am talking about, I played Little League until i was 12, and when I was 12 i play travel and little league, and I have played travel ball every year since then and still do ( I am 18 now). The competition will make your son a better baseball player, it helped me a bit, prepared me for the challenges of the future. I now play in college and i feel that travel ball gave me an extra push.

Go for it if your son is willing to make the commitment.

i would stay away from travel teams at young ages, because of what terprhp said. kids will just get tired of to much baseball and eventually not want to play

On one hand, travel ball often provides better coaching than, say, Little League. The competition level is also better and this raises the bar for those that play. So the travel ball environment is probably more conducive to improving. This is not to say that it is not possible to improve in other formats.

On the other hand, travel ball clubs often play year-round which is too much for young kids both from a physical standpoint as well as a mental standpoint. Burn-out at a later age is a definite possibility. Furthermore, travel ball coaches are more likely to be over the top with their competetiveness and their treatment of players. There is often too big of a focus on winning in travel ball.

So, my opinion is travel ball is great when the coaches are good and the play is limited. I strongly recommend that kids should play more than one sport. This takes some compromises but it is well worth it.

No.

Why not just find a non-travelling select team?

That’s what I did. That way you get better competition but much less risk of burn-out and lower injury risk due to no tournaments.

Thanks for all the advice guys.

I am concerned with burnout, in our rec league he plays around 20 games a summer and to me that is enough.

After talking more with the coaches I found out that the travel team played 52 last season and had one kid pitch 73 innings. I think that is way to much for an 11 year old over a 3-4 month span of games.

His rec team is pretty weak as we come from a very small town, I think eventually we will have to make the switch to a select team but I am just not sure what age to do it.

play travel ball as soon as you can afford it and the kid wants to. if he burns out he probably wasn’t a ballplayer anyway. just don’t force him to play.

“if he burns out he probably wasn’t a ballplayer anyway”…

May be perhaps the dumbest thing i’ve ever read on this board.

[quote=“terprhp”]“if he burns out he probably wasn’t a ballplayer anyway”…

May be perhaps the dumbest thing i’ve ever read on this board.[/quote]

I disagree with the comment in general, but what he says has a seed of truth in it. While there are those who find their baseball jones later in life, like early teens, most kids who are truly serious about the game and reach higher levels of play are the same kids who started playing early and often. These kids sometimes burn out too, and I’ve seen a lot of it in the last couple of years. But I think that the biggest cause of burnout isn’t the number of games played, not even the time commitment that is required. I feel strongly that the number one cause of athletic burnout up through high school is coaching; specifically the unrealistic and unyielding expectations that teenage boys can live solely on bread, water, and baseball.

The Hose